3 Students at U. of Mississippi Are Suspects in Vandalism of Statue

Three freshman members of a University of Mississippi fraternity have been expelled from the frat after they refused to talk with the police about vandalism last week of a campus statue of a pioneer of racial integration, The Clarion-Ledger, a newspaper in Jackson, Miss., reported. The fraternity chapter itself has been suspended by the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization.

The three students, who have been identified only as coming from Georgia, have declined to speak to the police, who are investigating the desecration of the statue of James Meredith, the university’s first black student. Vandals hung a noose around the statue’s neck and draped an old version of the Georgia flag—which features a Confederate battle emblem—over it.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that the campus’s police chief said he had sufficient evidence to file campus disciplinary charges against two of the students. The chief, Calvin Sellers, said federal and state authorities were looking into possible criminal charges. Lawyers for the three students had refused to make their clients available for questioning without an arrest warrant.

Chief Sellers said a $25,000 reward offered by the university’s alumni association had helped the investigation by attracting many tips.

Return to Top